Adapting to Weight Loss

Adapting to Weight Loss

So, these past two weeks have been real eye openers for me. It first started when I attended a nutrition seminar at my gym, NorCal Strength & Conditioning (NorCalSC). Here one of the trainers spoke about sustainable weight-loss. She (with a banging’ body and 6 pack, I might add) really got into the nitty gritty of how our bodies process food (carbs, protein, fat), calories, sleep, and more. Since my “health journey” began, I’ve learned along the way what works, how to plow through a plateau, and the tools I need to be successful in weight-loss. Well, over time, as our lives change, so do our bodies, hormones, lifestyle influences, etc. As things change, we must adapt, reevaluate and learn. This goes for nutrition and diet, workout routines, sleep routines, you name it. It takes some serious reflecting to do so, but typically life is a learning process right? It kind of comes with the territory of change and growing.

So, if you’ve been following along, you know that I started a “lean-out challenge” about 5 weeks ago. During these five weeks, I’ve cut out alcohol — only having one glass of red wine on my birthday, and a glass of resiling for another special occasion… oh and the couple glasses of vodka tonics at a wedding. I’ve of course been eating strict paleo. I’ve eliminated processed sugar. And limited natural sugar such as honey and maple. So overall, I feel that I’ve been doing pretty good. Not perfect, but over a 5 week period, I think good. Since the beginning, until now, I’ve pretty much maintained my weight, dropped a few pounds, gained a few back, dropped a few, gained a few. #soannoying. I was work out about 3-5 times a week, yet, not seeing the results I hoped for. Ugh, and whyyyy? Hold that thought.

One, of the many take aways from the nutrion seminar, is that not only do you need to be motivated and patient with weight-loss, but you must adapt. This could mean your workout routine, the foods you’re eating, how you’re sleeping, etc. Within the following days of the nutrition seminar, another amazing NorCalSC coach pointed out to me that I was severely calorie deficient. Although I eat a sufficient amount, that mindset of eating sparse meals or low-carb, “Fat-free” meals to lose weight, are unfortunately still intact. And, because I’m now a “Paleo Expert,” his words not mine, but i’ll take it, basically meaning I have adapted to eating fully Paleo, my body is stalling. Say whaaa?!

I learned that because I’m a pretty active person, my body does not have the right fuel it needs to lose weight. Seriously!?! Yes! In fact, because of my caloric restriction, my body is storing lots of fat because it is easier to survive on this, and is avoiding building muscle because it is expensive to maintain. Basically, I’m getting more fat than protein in my diet, and because I’m not eating enough fueling foods, my body thinks it is in starvation mode. This is no good. When your body is in starvation mode, it will thrive off whatever is in excess, (in my case) aka fat. And, our bodies are so smart, it will even start storing what it thinks it needs to survive, aka, again, fat. So, as you can see… this scenario is worthless for weight-loss. How can you lose fat if you’re body is storing it? 

If you’re a numbers person, let me put it like this. On an average 1200 calorie diet, I was getting an average of 500-700 calories a day. Assuming my lean body mass is about 60-70% of my total weight, 25-30% of that is body fat, even though I’m not technically what we call a “fat person.” My protein intake was way too low, and my carb intake, even though they are not processed carbs, was way too high.

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